HOT SHOTS—Here's the muzzleloading crew from the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club, taken last April. Black powder fans gather every month on the first Saturday. They shoot at a variety of targets including everything from gongs to bottle caps. They also shoot paper targets and compete with clubs from Menominee, and Sudbury, Ontario. Targets are mailed between the clubs so shooters can see how their club stacked up. OSC has won the fun-spirited competition for the past two years.
Local muzzleloading shooters are in an international competition. The Ottawa Sportsmen's Club, the Menominee, WI, Ridge Runners, and the Sudbury Voyageurs Muzzle Loading Rifle Club from Sudbury, Canada, hold shoots and compete monthly.
Paper targets are mailed to each club and returned to OSC Muzzleloading Coordinator, Jon Henkel. The paper targets are selected by each club and then distributed at monthly shoots sponsored by those clubs.
Bragging rights, so far, said Henkel, belong to the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club which has won the competition for two years. The trophy, made by the Canadians, is a bobble-head moose with a large maple leaf surrounding the U.S. star.
The black powder muzzleloaders meet on the first Saturday of the month from January through June at the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club at 11 a.m. and everyone is welcome.
In addition to the six-shot postal competition, there are targets as near as 15 yards and they may be as far as 100 yards—all novelty items, from gongs to bottle caps.
Henkel notes that it is fun for everyone, good camaraderie, and there is also help available for anyone new to black powder shooting. "It's a great way to learn, and a good practice session for experienced shooters as well. Since the postal competition takes only the top five scores from each club, it becomes important to have as many shooters as we can to ensure a good club score," Henkel said.
Last year there were 35 shooters who competed in the club black powder shoots over the six months. Top scorer went to many different shooters.
"There's a shoot this weekend, Saturday, Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. If interested in shooting, or just watching the smoke puff out over the snow, join us at the Ottawa Sportsmen's Club on M-38, or contact Jon Henkel at firstname.lastname@example.org, 353-6511," Henkel said.